Brows are serious business for Benefit Cosmetics. 

Not only does the brand sell 16 different products just for eyebrows alone, but it’s recently created an app to help people keep them in tip-top condition - or ‘on fleek’, if we're using the appropriate terminology.

The Wow Brows app is a booking system and loyalty app in one, and since it launched in November of last year, it’s attracted an impressive 20,000 users in the UK and Ireland.

I’ve downloaded it to see what all the fuss is about. Here’s a rundown of its various features and what it aims to offer consumers. 

Drives in-store beauty services

You’re probably aware of Benefit products, but you might not know that the brand also offers a wide range of beauty services in its various boutiques across the country. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest motivations behind the app is to increase awareness about these stores and to encourage bookings.

The app works by allowing users to find and locate a nearby store, book an appointment, and collect rewards in the process.

It’s fairly simple to use, though it does require users to sign-up to the app even if they already have an online account with Benefit. 

Personally, I also find the tone of voice rather cringey. An app addressing me as ‘gorgeous’ would probably sound patronising at the best of times, let alone when it’s to inform me about a basic bit of information. 

That aside, fans of Benefit are likely to be used to this sort of thing, so I suppose I can be forgiving.

Rewards loyal consumers

One thing I particularly like about the app is that it tells users from the start what kind of rewards to expect. And happily, you don’t have to wait until your 10th time to actually receive anything.

You only have to book two appointments before you can claim your first reward, which is a free brow tint.

Not only does this provide consumers with the incentive to actually use the app once they’ve downloaded it, but it offers a tangible reward for loyalty, in turn enhancing the consumer’s positive perceptions about the brand. 

The ability to gain extra rewards if you refer a friend is a bonus, too. 

Offers real-time and functional elements

Another aspect that works well is its geo-locational technology and integrated map.

All you have to do is allow the app to detect your location, and it will provide you with a list of nearby places that offer Benefit beauty in-store. You can also view opening hours, the different type of services on offer, as well as book your appointment there and then.

I think this type of mobile technology is likely to drive more booking conversions than an advert or promotion on social media. After all, the act of booking a beauty or hair appointment is often an afterthought or on the 'to-do' list. So the notion that you can simply use your smartphone to do so whenever you’re ready provides much more convenience.

Focus on simplicity

While a lot of brand beauty apps try to wear far too many hats, I particularly like how Wow Brow is quite narrow in terms of its focus. Its simplicity means that users are more likely to know what they’re getting when they download it – and use it again in future. 

Previous attempts from other brands, while good in theory, were probably overwhelming for consumers that are already happy shopping online or in-store. Debenhams Beauty Club, for instance, allowed consumers to collect loyalty points as well as actually buy products, read reviews and claim offers in-app. 

Similarly, while the likes of L’Oreal’s Make Up Genius capitalises on VR to wow users, Benefit is well-aware of its limitations.

It’s not the fanciest mobile app ever, but it knows what it can offer consumers, and it does it pretty well.

Related reading:

Nikki Gilliland

Published 23 February, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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